Some links on the Islamist threat, with an eye towards sober assessment:
From Via Media-The War On Terror Is Here To Stay:
‘Presidents Bush and Obama both thought they saw the evolution of a peaceful, democratic Middle East hovering just on the horizon. Both were deceived by a mirage. Instead of putting the finishing touches to beautiful castles of democracy and riding unicorns from one tranquil, prosperous Middle Eastern country to the next, we face a long slog of uncertain duration and changing risk against people who really, really hate us, and really, really believe that killing as many of us as possible is the shortest road to a better life for them and their people.’
A review of two books on our Counterterrorism campaigns at Foreign Affairs:
‘Jones sketches three waves of al Qaeda violence. The first began with the attacks on U.S. embassies in East Africa in 1998 and peaked on 9/11. The second took place in two regions: in Iraq after the 2003 U.S. invasion and in Europe, which witnessed a surge in jihadist activity at around the same time. This second wave was reversed by improved intelligence work and by an anti-jihadist backlash in Iraq. A third, less dramatic wave developed in the Arabian Peninsula beginning in 2007 with the emergence of an al Qaeda affiliate based in Yemen and ending in 2011 with the killing of key leaders, including bin Laden’
Lawrence Wright’s excellent New Yorker piece The Man Behind Bin Laden on Ayman al-Zawahiri.
“This great victory was possible only by the grace of God,” he says with quiet pride. “This was not just a human achievement—it was a holy act. These nineteen brave men who gave their lives for the cause of God will be well taken care of. God granted them the strength to do what they did. There’s no comparison between the power of these nineteen men and the power of America, and there’s no comparison between the destruction these nineteen men caused and the destruction America cause.’
Long but well done. Very likely worth your time.
The liberal/libertarian/civil liberties push in our society has important truths to tell in response to an unwieldy bureaucratic security apparatus utilizing technology at a rapid pace, but this blog has a tougher time with anti-war, anarchic isolationism.
There’s a world out there, after all, and we have interests, and it’s tough to figure out exactly what’s going on and respond properly.
Al Qaeda still there, and our objective may not be met. At least some folks in the media know just how much of a mess Pakistan can be, and the FATA region. Just ask Lara Logan…Some Tuesday Links-Two Foreign Fronts
How do we deal with the rise of Islamism: Via Youtube-Uncommon Knowledge With Fouad Ajami And Charles Hill
From The Atlantic: Samuel Huntington’s Death And Life’s Work…From The American Interest Online: Francis Fukuyama On Samuel Huntington…From Foreign Affairs Via The A & L Daily: ‘Conflict Or Cooperation: Three Visions Revisited’